U.S. Senators urge EPA to reject “gap-year” RFS waivers

A coalition of U.S. Senators is urging the EPA to reject more than 50 so-called “gap-year” RFS waivers recently requested by oil refiners.

In a letter, the Senators say the waiver petitions should not even be entertained because they are inconsistent with the 10th Circuit Court decision, Congressional intent, the EPA’s own guidance, and most importantly the interests of farmers and rural communities who rely on the biofuels industry.

Renewable Fuels Association president Geoff Cooper issued a statement applauding the bipartisan group of Senators for exposing the absurdity of the oil industry’s latest ploy to undermine the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says the sole purpose of the retroactive exemptions is to circumvent the law at the expense of rural families struggling to get back on their feet. She contends there’s no justification for allowing the petitions to hang over the market, saying it injects uncertainty into America’s agricultural recovery.

Kurt Kovarik with the National Biodiesel Board says a new flood of unlawful small refinery exemptions is guaranteed to compound the economic challenges soybean farmers and biodiesel producers are facing.

Among the Senators who signed the letter to EPA were Tammy Duckworth and Richard Durbin of Illinois, Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith from Minnesota, Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley of Missouri, Nebraska’s Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Mike Rounds and John Thune of South Dakota, and Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin.

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